Die Austauschschüler wurden in Belleville von Mayor Mark Eckert in der City Hall empfangen, wo er ihnen Informationen zur Stadt und ihrer Verwaltung gab.
Anschließend besuchten sie auch das Police Department.
Im News Democrat erschien dazu dieser Bericht.
A cultural exchange:
Students from Paderborn, Germany visit sister city Belleville
BY BRITTANY PALMER - News-Democrat
Five German exchange students and their host families visited City Hall on Wednesday to meet Mayor Mark Eckert and tour the police station.
Four of the Paderborn students are attending Belleville West High School: Amelie Kroger, Philipp Dueker, Laureen Gertzen and Lukas Zimmermann. One, Michael Wilmsmann, is attending Belleville East High School.
Eckert gave students a tour of his office and showed them his "Paderborn Wall," where he displays photos of trips he has made to the German city. He also talked to them about projects and programs under way at Belleville.
Eckert said that he loves the exchange program and has a deep respect for it. He has hosted students from Paderborn, and his children have visited the city often.
"It is good for our children; it has been a tremendous experience," Eckert said.
The students were then taken on a tour of the police station by Sgt. Tim Jones. He showed them the dispatcher's office, records room, and the inside of a police car.
The students attend school, and can participate in sport activity practices.
"Lukas and me play in the soccer club," Philipp said.
Philipp also said the biggest difference between the two cities is the school systems. Amelie agreed, and said her favorite class is photography, which is not offered in Germany.
The students said the thing they miss most is their friends and family. Most agreed that the thing they liked best in America is the food; Taco Bell and Applebee's were two favorites.
Many host families have taken the students to different places in St. Louis, such as a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game or the St. Louis City Museum. Some plan to visit places, such as Chicago and Arkansas.
Monna Youmans, host mother to Philipp, said she has enjoys "sharing different experiences with him in everyday life."
Belleville and Paderborn have been involved in the Sister Cities Inc., program for 20 years.
Doris Roach, youth chairwoman of Sister Cities Inc., said the program is a hit with families.
"The families that participate just love it, and we are always looking for families (to host)," she said.
Twice a year, students from each city visit the other. The summer exchange lasts three weeks. The school year exchange lasts 90 days for students visiting from Paderborn, and six weeks for students visiting from Belleville.